Shocktober: Barbarian


I don’t know if it’s the case for everyone, but for me, it was easy to go into Barbarian cynical. Thanks to the success of A24 and Jordan Peele, it kinda looked like a movie that was just copying the modern formula for success: get a comedy guy to write and direct a low-budget horror movie set in one location where the real villain is contemporary social issues. In fact, star Georgina Campbell went as far as to say Jordan Peele was “part of the essence of the movie.” But then I saw it and realized words like “formulaic” and “derivative” don’t really apply to Barbarian and so what if it’s trendy? It’s part of a good trend! All that really means is that it was perhaps slightly more likely to be successful. I see this as an absolute win.

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Shocktober: Day Shift

Day Shift

There are a lot of movies and TV shows about vampires. However, there are slightly less movies and TV shows about vampire hunters, one of which I had the pleasure of starring in alongside a fellow Mildly Pleaser. Day Shift seems to be somewhat aware of this, as it digs a little deeper into the specifics of the vampire hunter lifestyle than that of the actual vampires they spend their time killing. Still, the movie is ultimately less concerned with world-building than it is with constructing some gruesome, gun-slinging action sequences paired with a decent amount of buddy-comedy laughs. In the end, it’s a bit of an uneven grab bag of styles, but one that hits the spot if you’re in for some bloodsucking fun readily available on Netflix. Continue reading

Shocktober: The Munsters

The Munsters (2022)

Hey all you boils and ghouls! Shocktober is back for its 12th year! And instead of looking to the past were looking the future! (or in this case the present). We’re doing nothing but 2022 films for Shocktober…. Or dare I say ShockTwentyTwober… No, how about “2020Booo!” Eh, I could take or leave it. Anyways, here are my thoughts on that Munsters movie that just came out on Netflix.

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Colin’s Favorite Albums of Summer 2022

As you may or may not have noticed, it’s been a little bit since I did one of my monthly album roundups. Some of this was due to Criterion Month taking up all of my attention on this blog in late June and all of July. Also, some of it was due to the fact that after a really great first half of the year for music, there haven’t been a ton of albums I loved that came out this summer. Still, there have been a few stand-outs, while I’ve also found myself unable to resist the charms of what will almost certainly come to be regarded as The Album of the Summer.

So as Memorial Day weekend beckons its call for the end of summer, let’s take a look back at some of my favorite albums of these past few sweltering months. Continue reading

Criterion Month Day 30: The Worst Person in the World

The Worst Person in the World (2021)

I wanted to close out Criterion Month with my best review yet. Finally, my opportunity to say something profound! So naturally, I pick a movie where I have no idea what I want to say. The Worst Person in the World wasn’t the movie I was expecting (in a good way). I expected something tongue-and-cheek (which it is from time to time) but not something this heavy with a message that so strongly speaks to my generation. So let’s go, watch me stumble through this one.

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Criterion Month Day 29: Cold War

Cold War (2018)

As we close out this year’s Criterion Month, it seems that we’ve hit upon a theme that all of our last few movies share. Namely, we’ve been reviewing a lot of movies about relationships spread out over a long period of time, which allows us to see the ways in which time and the growth of these characters impacts their relationships. This is quite a literal aspect of the Before trilogy, as we see how the actors/writers’ experiences with love and the passage of time influenced the series. However, Love & Basketball, The Worst Person In The World, and today’s entry Cold War, also explore this same idea, as we see the ways in which people fall in love over the years, then out of love, and then re-enter each other’s lives in one way or another. Continue reading

Criterion Month Day 28: Before Midnight

Before Midnight (2013)

And so the trilogy comes to a close. At least that seems to be the case considering Richard Linklater missed the window. What I mean is that all three Before films were released nine years apart from each other. Meaning 2022 would have been the year for “Before Noon” (my title idea, not theirs). It doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen but there was talk.

What I read was that Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke couldn’t come up with a good enough idea within the time frame. So the series isn’t dead per se. Linklater has spoken of the possibility of a future short film or maybe a film where the pair are elderly. I love to hear it, but Linklater has to stop lining up projects he may not live to see (Look up Merrily We Roll Along and you’ll see what I mean).

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